I really don’t want to talk about this month’s challenge, ha. It’s not even resistance, it’s like just a blank stare from my brain.
Maybe it’s the events in the world and in our country lately.
Maybe it’s the continued never-ending germ-apocalypse in the existence of preschoolers.
Maybe it’s inflation and the effects on all of us.
Maybe it’s a pandemic that is still a pandemic but that we thought was a post-pandemic except no.
Maybe it’s all of that AND also the simple fact that our pelvic floors are more than mysterious anatomy puzzles we need to sort out. They are the center of us. They are driving so much of our function. And, on top of that, they are connected to our sexuality and our relationship with intimacy and other people and our identity and oh wow. Yeah.
The interesting layer here is that so many of us were never taught about this part of our body, namely because from an early age we were taught it was “private” and should not be talked about. I think we were also taught that only people assigned female at birth have pelvic floors and, so, if you were socialized as a girl, you grew up with this idea that your pelvic floor was something related to your period and sex with a penis someday when you fell in love (omg). And that’s if you even knew about your pelvic floor, ha. I didn’t learn about pelvic floor stuff until after I already had two kids. I knew uterus, vagina, fallopian tubes, ovaries, period end of story.
Wild, right? The reality is that this information is as basic and necessary as understanding the function of your heart or your liver or your intestines. And it is mucked with other STUFF because this part of our body has been hijacked by topics that our society is afraid to talk about. We could delve in to all the real reasons why this is the case, from misogyny to power to patriarchy to sexual repression, but the reality is here for us all: We have different experiences of knowledge around our pelvic floors, but very few us have a healthy relationship with it.
In my case, and mine may not be yours, the added layer is that somewhere along the line, I decided (or was taught) two things:
1. That any dysfunction in this part of my body is clearly my fault and clearly a sign that I am gross, flawed, not desirable, broken, weak, old, maternal, etc etc etc etc etc blergh;
2. That this part of my body actually belongs to men. It is here for their pleasure and their experience.
Oh crap, I hate writing that. I really do. But, I’m saying it. It’s just the awful terrible truth. And, no wonder I don’t want to talk about this subject. And no wonder I have so much connected trauma in my landscape of personal intimate relationships. And no wonder I do this work in the world. We all teach what we need to know.
Here’s the light in the tunnel (pun intended): Today, after a lot of help in this area, I have been actively engaged in working on my relationship with this part of my body. The first step for me was going to a pelvic floor physical therapist and having her teach me about my unique anatomy and also identify any issues I was dealing with. Was that terrifying? Um yes. BUT, 100% worth it. The next step for me was getting specific help for trauma related to this part of my body, which is still ongoing and will be forever ongoing honestly. And the step I am in now is changing my relationship with my pelvic floor by scooping it up into the family of “my body”, “my function”, “mine mine mine mine mine”.
Sometimes I feel a little shame and ickiness about the fact that I am 42 and just doing all this now. But, I recognize that this shame is born in generations before me, handed down to me as a survival tool for staying safe in a society hostile to bodily autonomy. To walk away from the shame means that I am relinquishing my grasp on that tool, which is scary. But it’s time.
Join me and Jya and Stephanie this month as we tackle this topic in our June Challenge: Pelvic Floor SOS. Each week, we will be delivering to you a new episode of our mini podcast, Showing Up, focused on different aspects of this topic and giving you some calls to action and things to think about. And, as always, we will continue to encourage you to do 5-15 minutes of daily-ish exercise during the month of June. Education, inspiration, and accountability all in one, yeehaw.
SO, join us even if you’re like oh wow no thank you or even if you’re like yesssss finally. We will serve both experiences and both realities. You can register today through Monday, June 6th! You can do that as a current member by logging in to your membership and then clicking Challenges in the teal navigation menu. OR, if you are not yet a member, voila, perfect time to get started. Simply sign up for your 14-day free trial and follow those instructions above.
OK, let’s do this. I’ll see you on Monday, June 6th.